Beer & Chocolate

It’s that time of year again – the Oregon Chocolate Festival is coming right up. And yours truly is again presenting lively & delicious chocolate and beer tasting sessions.

For the past 5 years (this year = 6th) it’s been a pleasure to be part of this event at the invite of my fine colleague, Karolina of the Neuman Hotel Group. As I look back at the previous years, I like what I see.

OCF 2012

2012: First year invited to the festival by Karolina. My Fine Husband is a brewer in the same town and he was invited to make a beer for and talk at the Friday night Chocolate Makers dinner. Yum! I was lucky enough to go along and enjoy the hospitality and get a glimpse of what was ahead. We also were given a booth in exchange for my presentation, wherein we sold WEB goodies.

It’s always fun to see returning guests like Michelle.

2013: On the grow – the festival keeps attracting return guests and new guests into the flavor fold. I’m invited back thanks to our success last year and it’s a great time again, this time with an even fuller room (2 sessions, one Sat & Sun) that last year. Returning guests provide a humbling bonus.

Felicia enjoys the festival, with a fresh beer in hand.

2014: Getting bigger! And our last year in the actual room inside the hotel. We’re bursting at the seams and I give away a few tickets to the event – even better to help the Hotel generate more enthusiasm for a consistently well run and well done event. Felicia is the Winner and I’m so glad to have her the other 40 – 50 guests for each session. The Hotel Group has a terrific team, year over year, too so that makes the life of a presenter so much easier and more fun.

2015: Last year at the Ashland Springs Hotel, Downtown Ashland. In the tent we had a ball with as many guests would fit on Saturday, as well as a robust audience on Sunday too. Still with chairs only, we can snugly fit 60ish guests seated, with a few standing in the back. Thankfully I had enough of everything to serve the groups. Even better, my filmmaker Sean and PR pro Erika are in the house to capture all this tasty fun (clip above).

Join us at the Hills for the Festival

2016: We made a big leap forward to the new location, Ashland Hills Hotel, where the room can seat significantly more. We set up for 80 (seats & tables) and had big overflow of likely 100 = 120! While it’s a thrill to get that many people in the room who want to take part, it’s a disappointment to not be able to fully serve everyone who wanted to be there.  Big thanks to my team, Stacy & Russ, for working with the NHG crew to make it sing for me and our fine guests. I also gave away some private beer & chocolate tasting sessions (only 1 of 3 was redeemed…).

Soon: March 3 – 5, 2017. We’ll seat 100 people only, making sure that those who get there in good time have a literal seat and chair to enjoy the fun. Saturday & Sunday will allow for two different sessions, separate menus and as likely a few surprises. I’m deep into the throes of menu planning and development – creating a fun and delicious & enlightening menu for the 100 guests we’ll have Saturday and the other 100 we’ll have Sunday. Plus Karolina has given me the opportunity to be the moderator of a panel of beverage & food specialists – can’t wait!

Paula, Cassie, Ginger & Karolina are ready for you to join the fun!

Why am I walking down this chocolate memory lane today? Because in a world of sometimes feeling like I didn’t accomplish anything some days, these events are incredibly tangible and real. They’re like my fairway: a successful event like this helps me keep moving forward, knowing what I do matters.

  • Thanks to all the guests – one timers, repeats and stalwarts.
  • Thank you to Karolina and my crews – you make it all the better and successful for everyone.
  • Thank you for my flavor partners, including Dagoba Organic Chocolate and Larry/Brewer and others.

I’m relishing the upcoming festival and hope to see you there. Here’s the agenda. Please, come join us.

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Portland Book Event 10.26.16, Belmont Station

Ginger Johnson Releases Trailblazing New Book on Marketing Beer to Women

Women Enjoying Beer founder to host book-release event at Portland’s famed

Belmont Station

 Ginger Johnson, founder of Women Enjoying Beer, is releasing a comprehensive new book that instructs beer-industry companies on how to properly market beer to female consumers.

The book — How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer — is a first-of-its-kind and valuable how-to book for the modern beer industry.

The book’s insights are based on surveys Johnson conducted with female beer drinkers and Johnson’s eight years running Women Enjoying Beer, the nation’s only female-focused beer marketing company.

Johnson wrote the book to fix a shortcoming in the beer industry.

“I wrote this book,” Johnson says, “because beer companies don’t completely and respectfully market beer to women. They are incredibly overdue in realizing they must reach out to women with a dedicated effort. It’s not about pinkifying – that’s pandering. It’s about acknowledging with full respect that you want female beer drinkers to be your customers.”

“Women in America make 75-85% of all purchasing decisions,” Johnson notes, “and they can make or break beer companies. So it’s time for beer makers to retire the old sexist and juvenile jokes and get serious about beer and women. If they don’t, they’re missing a huge opportunity.”

 

On Wednesday, October 26 from 5-7 PM, Johnson will host a book release event at Portland, Oregon’s Belmont Station (4500 SE Stark St.). Johnson will read excerpts from her book and discuss its findings, and answers questions on how brewers and beer-focused businesses can boost their efforts in marketing to female beer consumers.

Admission to the event is free, seating is limited and books will be available for singing and purchase ($49) at the event. Reservations are required and can be secured by sending an email to ginger@womenenjoyingbeer.com or calling 515.450.7757.

“In 2008,” Johnson recalls, “I looked around and wondered why more women weren’t enjoying beer like I was. That moment was the catalyst for my company and it has driven me ever since. The enjoyment of beer has been foundational to the development to the United States, and it’s a damn shame the beer industry has yet to fully recognize and address women as beer enthusiasts.”

Numerous beer-industry companies have benefited from Johnson’s expertise.

“I see women filling our stores every day, buying all kinds of beer,” says Rob Hill, New Business Development Director for Total Wine & More. “This is a reality to be understood and not ignored. Ginger’s passion and expertise for this historically misjudged consumer segment pour out of the pages of her new book.”

“Let’s face it,” says Hugh Sisson, founder of Baltimore’s Clipper City Brewing, “the craft beer industry – and the beer industry in general – has tended to overlook the female side of the market. Ginger Johnson is not only adept at educating brewers to open their eyes to this under-served market segment – she also gives brewers practical ways to reach this enormous audience.”

How To Market Beer To Women: Don’t Sell Me A Pink Hammer can also be purchased here.

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